Friday, 11 January 2013
Live in the moment
Hello all and welcome, with an especially big welcome to the new followers - it's so wonderful to have your company on the journey...
I'm sharing another of the explosion of turquoisey pieces which happened immediately after Christmas as I played with my new Peacock Feathers DI and new Distress Stain colours of Mowed Lawn and Salty Ocean (others here, here and here, and I don't think I'm done yet!).
This one also employs one of my other obsessions - the PaperArtsy Fresco paints.
I particularly asked for those colours from Father Christmas, but I still surprised myself with what turned up on my craft desk once I started playing, so I hope this will also be enough of a surprise for them over at the Fashionable Stamping Challenge where the Anything Goes challenge is called "Surprise Us".
It was certainly a case of living from moment to moment as I was making it, and following my instincts... that strange "in the zone" thing that happens when you're creating something, and time passes without you noticing. I think that's the same as following one's muse - is it? - which is what they'd like us to do at Frilly and Funkie.
The centrepiece for this is one of the glorious Lynne Perella stamps (also from PaperArtsy). But I didn't know that when I started!
I usually set out on projects without much idea of where I'm going, but this tag was an extreme example: surprise after surprise as I just messed around with the things to hand - changing my mind frequently and experimenting freely, with some good results, and some that needed saving, as you'll see.
I began with a large tag and my Distress Stains. I dabbed them onto the craft sheet and used a blending tool to work them onto the tag, adding in some Peacock Feathers DI at times too.
I then tried just splodging the sponge of the stain bottle down onto the tag quite firmly, so that it created a lovely - well - splodge, I guess is the word, with a nice splash pattern round it. Lot of fun!!
I added some random stamping with a music manuscript stamp and then paused to have a look at it.
It seemed Lynne Perella-y, so I grabbed my one and only LP set (so far...), number 001. (Sorry that number has made my brain go straight to one of my favourite moments from QI - if you fancy a detour, it's here.)
I stamped her in Cobalt Blue Archival ink, and it looked pretty good, but the face wasn't as clear as I'd've liked, so I decided I'd have a go at adding a bit of paint to the image.
I'd seen Leandra's fantastic video of painting an LP image stamped onto material, and thought "why not?". Since the face was causing the problem, I started there.
I used quite a thin wash of the Nougat Fresco paint, but of course no matter how careful I was I ended up going over the features and even with the thin wash it obscured the features slightly. So it was time to take a risk. I decided I would try to restamp just the facial features over the paint.
Not that simple, as the stamps are rubber not clear, so lining them up (if you haven't planned in advance) can be tricky. So that there wouldn't be any double-stamping of the rest of the image, I inked up only the face, took a deep breath, and went for it. If you're intimately acquainted with the stamp, you'll see that it's just very slightly off-centre - but all things considered, I'm very happy with the result!
I used an even thinner wash of paint over some other bits of the image, the shells and the swirls and - having done that - I decided to be led by those swirls and shells as I carried on playing.
I added some random stamping of the shell image also from the LP set, and then came another bit of experimentation. I'd thought of doing some texture paste dots to get some extra circles, so that I'd have somewhere to highlight with Treasure Gold (current product obsession).
But I wanted more than just dots, really, so I decided to try some partial embossing instead, using the Tim Holtz embossing folder, Retro Circles. It took some juggling to get the right bit of the tag to go through in the folder, but I got there!
Since the stencils were out and lying around (because of my discarded texture paste plans), I decided to use them in another way. I wanted to tie in the paint on the image into the rest of the tag somehow, and stencilling seemed the perfect way to introduce some text into the background.
Instead of dots, I went with the contrasting lines of the Distorted Honeycomb template that I was lucky enough to win at Tando a while back.
I used some Cut'n'Dry foam to dab the paint (again a diluted wash) from the craft sheet onto the tag, through the stencil, and loved the effect. With various degrees of dilution as I was dabbing, there are places where the creamy paint is quite opaque, and others where the colours and stamping show through quite clearly - yum!
At this point, I decided to throw a whole new game at the tag, and I punched out the bottom with an X-Cut punch bought at The Range - seemed like a good idea, so I did it.
It wasn't until afterwards that I realised that the punch pattern was a sort of combination of the circle motif and the hexagons: instinct, I suppose - definitely not planning.
The tiny watch parts come from Calico Crafts, and they were the perfect thing to highlight the tag with. I added a cog or gear to the centre of each shell spiral, including the ones the woman has as her somewhat extravagant earrings!
I had a bit of canvas lying around, so I stuck it onto some card and used it to add the TH sentiment, which seemed perfect for such a moment-to-moment tag. I frayed it a little round the edges, and inked it for definition.
I put the finishing touches of a lacing of Treasure Gold in Aquamarine and some Distress Stain-dyed crinkle ribbon in place. As with my Butterfly tag, I made enough ribbon for a double bow plus some more to hang it up by.
And then I sat back for a look at a tag which - to me - seems quite different from lots of my other work. It's not revolutionary, but it was such fun to go "off-piste" and to end up with something that really pleases me.
I hope you've enjoyed sharing my experimental journey - I'd love to know how it strikes you. Maybe it's very obviously a "butterfly" piece, and I just don't see it... Certainly, now that you've got used to seeing the turquoises from me, it will be less of a surprise than if I'd shared this one first.
In any case, I'm very grateful that you've taken the time to stop by today, and I look forward to seeing you again soon - here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.
Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed.
The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.
I'm entering this in the following:
At Fashionable Stamping Challenges the theme is "Surprise Us"
Try It On Tuesday are still interested in seeing our New Stash
Crafty Creations would like to see Something New
Frilly and Funkie want us to Follow Our Muse - mine likes going in all sorts of different directions at the moment!